By Austin Eromosele
The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright has disclosed that about 140,000 Nigerians applied for UK visas in 2016.
Arkwright disclosed this in Lagos during activities to honour the 40th anniversary of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce.
“In 2016, around 140,000 Nigerians applied for visas to the UK. Of those that applied for student visas, 90 percent were successful. For those that applied for other visas, around 70 percent were successful. There are as many as 250,000 Nigerian nationals or dual Nigerian-British nationals living in the UK at the moment.”
He said the UK has introduced a same day visa service – at a cost – for visas in Nigeria, meaning you get a visa within five days, at a lower cost than the same day process.
‘’Our turnaround time for all other visas is 15 days. The key thing, however, is that all visitors to the UK, whether they are from Nigeria or anywhere else, must respect the law and the length of time their visa says they can stay in the UK,” the High Commissioner said.
While speaking on the topic, “Nigeria-British Relations: The Next 100 Years”, Arkwright said the UK government was pleased with the economic position of Nigeria.
He maintained that the current government of Nigeria has the desirable qualities and good policies and investment habits, and said it’s obvious that the country would no longer be reliant on aid to develop.
According to him, Lagos, Africa’s fifth largest economy in 2016, will become more important in the coming years as African example of how to break down barriers to doing business and bring in foreign investment.
He spoke further by making a prediction that in a few years, Lagos would become a major global economic hub, while Nigeria would emerge one of the three largest countries in the world.
He also made known that the British Embassy had started special services. According to him, visa applicants could get their visa on the same day or within five days of application.
The embassy also has now reduced the maximum go around time for all classes of visa application to 15 days.